Allison travels with an open mind and a passion to fully experience every city she travels to. With two years under her belt, she is great at finding the ‘fun’ anywhere she goes.
How did you decide to become a travel therapist?
I initially brought the idea of traveling up to my husband (then boyfriend) as a joke after reading an email from a travel recruiter, and his response was “Yeah, why not?!” without skipping a beat. Surprisingly, I had not considered travel therapy until the Summer after graduation when I was studying for my boards. The more we thought about the idea of traveling, the more excited we were to pick out our first assignment.
What are the pros of having a significant other that travels with you?
There are too many to count! We are a great team, so we have the moving and packing/unpacking down to a science. I could not imagine moving across the country by myself! My husband is so supportive and helps me through the first week of work when it feels the most overwhelming. One of our favorite parts of traveling is getting to know the area and figuring out the basics together, like where to buy groceries, best places to eat, and where our favorite hangout spot is going to be for the next three months. I feel lucky that we get to experience living in different areas of the US together before we settle down close to family in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What are the best adventures you have been on while on an assignment?
Oxford, MS- We had friends over for a “Friendsgiving” and we all went to an Ole Miss game. We got to tailgate in “The Grove” which is supposed to be some of the best tailgating in all of college football. My co-workers let us hang out at their site and we had a blast!
Lake Placid, NY- We lived across the street from the site of the 1980 Olympics (Miracle On Ice) and they still have all of the Olympic buildings that have since been repurposed. It was amazing! They still used the outdoor Speedskating Oval for international competitions on the weekends and we could watch them from our kitchen window. We also enjoyed taking walks around the lake across from our apartment with our French Bulldog puppy, Mack. It snowed every day which made it so beautiful driving through the Adirondack Mountains.
Parsons, KS- We lived in a small town where nearly everything closed at 9pm, so we enjoyed small town living taking Mack for walks around town as well as watching the sunset from our patio almost every night! Not having a whole lot to do in the town was also a plus, as it was very relaxing and peaceful.
Minocqua, WI- We lived in a beautiful cabin on a lake in an unincorporated town. It was a very snowy winter, so we enjoyed cozying up to our wood fireplace at the cabin. Surprisingly, our tiny town of Lake Tomahawk had our (still to this day) all-time favorite restaurant while traveling. All of the meat on their menu came from the local butcher next door and one of the owners handcrafted all of the cocktail mixers with fresh fruit. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend checking out Bitters + Bull! We were within driving distance from home, so we had many friends and family visit us!
Florence, SC- We had fun meeting up with co-workers at a brewery and rooftop bar in the downtown area. This was also right after our wedding, so we enjoyed a lot of downtime and relaxing on our patio. Our favorite neighbor was a woman in her 80’s who took care of her mother who was 102! Unfortunately, her mother would fall from time to time so she would call my husband to help get her up at all hours of the day and night. Getting to know them and being able to help out whenever they needed us was one of the unexpected highlights of that assignment!
The Villages, FL- We lived in a 55+ retirement community where the main mode of transportation was a golf cart. We had so much fun living like retirees for a few months and driving our golf cart to the pool, nightly entertainment in the time square, restaurants, and to the grocery store. My husband was also helpful to our elderly neighbors here and probably prevented several falls by offering to change lightbulbs instead of them having to get up on a ladder.
What kind of impact can you make at a facility as a travel therapist?
As a travel therapist who has now worked in 6 different facilities over two years, I have gained experience with various types of supervisors, co-workers, and facility procedures. In an outpatient clinic that was experiencing more no-shows than usual, I was able to suggest a change in the scheduling process for all clinicians to ensure each patient had at least one follow-up visit planned prior to leaving the clinic. I have also learned many unique occupation-based interventions and creative ways to assess patients from other therapists. I feel lucky that I get to share those tips and tricks I have learned from some amazing therapists along the way to keep treatment unique and fun, which pays off because patients are motivated and sometimes even excited to participate in therapy!
What would you say to travelers that are location-specific?
I would encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and be open to traveling around the US for a setting that you are interested in. We have based our decisions on travel assignments on the job setting more so than location, which has brought us to some pretty amazing places! We came into traveling with open minds and the willingness to travel anywhere with a good job that would give me experience professionally, which has paid off and allowed me to work with really wonderful therapists in great facilities.
How did your travel experience contribute to planning a destination wedding?
Since we enjoy traveling so much and it’s a big part of our lives, there was no question we would have a destination wedding! Being so used to arranging housing and everything for travel assignments from across the country, we worked with our wedding planner in Mexico via email and phone to coordinate all of the travel and wedding details. The flexibility with being a travel therapist allowed me to take about a month off between assignments for our wedding, so I had enough time to get things ready before the wedding and relax afterward before having to move again.
Interested in experiencing similar adventures as our traveler spotlight? Reach out to their recruiter, Jordyn Fuller, for information regarding current openings!